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'America's Best Dance Crew': L.A. auditions herald season 7

February 2, 2012 |  4:17 pm

Randy jackson americas best dance crew
"Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew" is entering its seventh season on MTV, and while the popularity of dance shows such as "ABDC" and "So You Think You Can Dance" may be dipping a bit in terms of ratings, a niche demo of viewers is still passionate. That was evident at the Los Angeles auditions, which took place at the CenterStaging studio in Burbank over the weekend with dozens of crews trying to make it to the televised portion of the show.

At 6 p.m., crews that might have been here since 6 a.m. were still practicing in huddled groups, listening to music, or freestyle dancing for the many cameras that followed them. Crews with more experience were easy to spot as they worked on formations and last-minute intricacies in the parking lot. "ABDC" choreographer Rosario McCoy watched dancers file in and out of the audition room, but also had ideas on what to look for (he's a dancer, so he moves a lot!).

Last season's lifting of the age requirements, and the success of Season 6 runner-up Iconic Boyz, brought the teen and preteen crowd out in force. They displayed a range of differing skill-levels, from middle school drill team performers to polished crews representing dance studios nationwide. The age difference was apparent, as was geographical diversity: Crews came from the local hotbeds of talent in places like North Hollywood, Orange County or Gilbert, Ariz. (believe it) but also Alaska, Vancouver, Canada, and Billings, Mont. There was even a crew from Paris.

A few crew names were familiar, including Miniotics, a group of kids under the tutelage of Season 5 winners Poreotics; Knucklehead Zoo, a group of veteran b-boys with some new members mixed in; and Street Kingdom, the popular krumping crew from last season.

Mentor Randy Jackson was on hand for many of the auditions. Though "ABDC" is admittedly a lot lower profile than his other gig on "American Idol," Jackson says that he enjoys this show just as much ("Look at those faces, man!"), and looks forward to seeing performers meld the whole culture of dance with elements of hip-hop upon which the series is based.

"The show has been amazing. I never knew how far it would go, but I knew that it was a necessity on TV for people to see what these crews do. The youth, the talent and just the camaraderie of these kids. I just love showing the humanity to America," Jackson said. 

When asked if he could ever see the day when "ABDC" might somehow merge or cross paths with "American  Idol," he said "You never know, man. Stranger things have happened."

Judge Dominic 'D-Trix' Sandoval, coming off his first full season as a judge, still revels in the newness of it all, but as a competitor and eventual champion with Season 3's Quest Crew, he empathizes with what the dancers are going through.

The date for the show's seventh season premiere has not yet been announced.


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-- Jevon Phillips

Photo: Randy Jackson. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angels Times